Do you suffer from chronic pain? It’s very likely that you or a loved one is dealing with pain on a regular basis. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), pain affects more people in the U.S. than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined. Pain is reported as the number one reason why American use the health care system and is the most common cause of disability, states the NIH.
That’s why it’s important to get the help, support, and care you need to manage pain so you can live your best life possible. Pain can affect your sleep, cause anxiety or depression, and trigger other problems. Here’s what you need to know about managing chronic pain.
Seeing a health care professional
Your first step should be finding pain management doctors or health care professionals who can:
- Assess your pain and develop a personalized treatment plan.
- Help you choose pain therapies that are right for you.
- If needed, prescribe the right medications at the right time.
- Enable you to control your pain with treatment and self-care.
For those suffering from chronic pain, a pain clinic might be the solution. This is a care center that specializes in helping those who have long-term pain.
Ways to manage your pain
Depending on your condition, a health care professional may recommend one or more of the following treatments :
- Physical therapy, including exercises and stretches to relieve pain, improve your movement, and strengthen your muscles.
- Pain medication, such as over-the-counter drugs (acetaminophen or aspirin) and prescription medications like an opioid.
- Electrical nerve stimulation that overrides painful signals sent to the brain by your body. This is also known as transcutaneous nerve stimulation therapy or TENS.
- Injecting medication into certain areas of the body to block pain in a group of nerves (also known as a nerve block).
- Surgery, which is usually considered a last resort, but may be necessary in some cases. A surgical implant is inserted that pumps or delivers pain medicine to the spinal cord. Another option is a spinal cord stimulation implant that transmits electrical signals to certain nerves to block pain signals from getting to the brain.
Alternative therapies for managing pain
While pain medication and therapy might be the appropriate treatments in many cases, there are other approaches to managing pain, including acupuncture, massage therapy, relaxation techniques, and spinal manipulation (or chiropractic treatment).
Are you looking for pain management doctors?
Pain Medicine at Crystal Run Healthcare provides treatment with pain medicine doctors at their Middletown, Monroe, New Windsor, and West Nyack offices. To find their locations and phone numbers, visit www.crystalrunhealthcare.com/specialties/pain-medicine.